Park Community Church’s building is situated about four football fields west of Moody Publishers’ offices on the near north side of Chicago. And, last September, on a crisp Thursday morning, I and a few other Moody Publishers colleagues sauntered over to take in a two-day experience called: The STORY Conference.
We were welcomed by smiling faces holding artistic, arrowed signs, and on the way in I passed by a living room set up in the middle of a parking garage and a fully-garbed knight in shining armor. There were booths as well—one raffling off a real, live record player and another featuring a silver platter stacked 3-high with boxes of Yoo-Hoo. I suddenly became aware that I had overdressed for such an outside-the-box event.
Between hearing from some of the most gifted storytellers around (Ann Voskamp, Ian Morgan Cron, and Ed Dobson among others), mingling with countless creative-types seeking God’s direction, and having a great conversation with Sarah Cunningham (the Community Designer at STORY)… it was clear that something powerful was afoot. I wanted to be a part of this. Our publishing team’s focus on reaching this next generation was right in step with what was happening at this conference.
Writer/Editor Stephanie Smith and I had been interacting about the power of people’s personal stories… especially memoirs, and the STORY Community was quite obviously full of storytellers. And, then it hit. Bam! Let’s work together with this group to make a compilation project happen.
From the curating (Sarah Cunningham) to the writing (Jeff Goins, David Hickman, Blaine Hogan, Tracee Persiko, Mandy Thompson, and David V. Wenzel) to the editing (Stephanie Smith) to the cover design (Zach McNair) this project is a real partnership with the STORY Community and our Next Generation Publishing Team here at Moody.
It combines the unique stories from these six* creatives (artists, musicians, writers, thinkers, and leaders) managing the tensions between their faith, their place in life, and their work as artists. It is a collective call to face life’s imperfections and difficulties while attempting to do the great things we all want to do. By capturing this next generation’s battle between idealism and reality—which is where so many of us find ourselves existing each day—these storytellers pave the way for a better understanding of those moments that truly shape us.
So, in September 2012, we’ll be releasing our project to the world. Truly a team effort. It’s called: Inciting Incidents. And, I couldn’t be more excited…
Randall Payleitner is the Associate Publisher for the Millennial Generation Team at Moody Publishers. He is also a Millennial. You can follow him on Twitter @Payleitner
What other issues, topics, and stories would you like to see geared toward the millennial generation?
*This post was updated on August 17, 2012, to reflect changes in the project.